Label: Sub Pop
Catalog #: 70185
Pre-order details*LOSER (COLOR) 2xLP IS A PRE-ORDER AND WON'T SHIP UNTIL NOVEMBER 3RD. CD IS IN STOCK AND WILL SHIP OUT UPON PURCHASE*
Did you know there are horses on the cover of Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version? There are at least three in the right hand corner, gathered inexplicably near a white canvas tent, a human possibly perched among its folds. As widescreen and vast as the cover may seem, those little details—the horses, the possible human, the faint wisp of white clouds—give it depth and wonder, something to which the imagination can return.
Did you know that the music on Earth 2—repressed now for its 30th anniversary, back in its original artwork, and accompanied by a riveting set of remixes that demonstrate the reach of what Dylan Carlson long ago called “ambient metal”—works much the same way? The surface is massive and obvious, the meatpaw riffs of Carlson and bassist Dave Harwell pounding and swiping and pawing at the speakers, a true bludgeon in three-dimensional sound. Listen, though, for the details in the corners, for the finesse beneath the force, and Earth 2 reveals new levels of depth and wonder.
The widespread impact of Earth 2 suggests that others have indeed been leaning in, listening to these minutiae and making something new of them. A masterpiece without many genre precedents, Earth 2 surely helped send doom metal down its more modern drone, ambient, and avant-garde avenues. Those descendants are obvious. Perhaps more surprising and gratifying are the ways it has influenced electronic music, modern composition, and even hip-hop by realigning our senses of tempo, time, and texture. See the 2023 digital/ltd. LP companion piece, Earth 2.23: Special Lower Frequency Mix, for evidence from The Bug, Flowdan, Justin K. Broadrick of Godflesh/Jesu, Robert Hampson of Loop, and Brett Netson of Built to Spill/Earth. Earth 2 engendered a rearrangement of expectations, regardless of preferred form.
These are not obvious directions for Earth’s impact. Again, Earth 2 was never an obvious record. 30 years on, have we yet to grasp the enormity of Earth 2, an album that has continued its slow cycle of influence, uninterrupted? Probably not. Hell, most of us don’t even know there are horses on the cover.